The apex food regulator FSSAI has rolled out FSSAI’s new labelling norms for the bread manufacturers operating pan India. The new norms shall come into effect in May 2023. This decision will come as a relief for health-conscious masses. It will be interesting to see how unorganized bread makers, which constitute 80 percent of the market, respond to this decision. Let’s dig into these norms to find out their implications on manufacturers as well as consumers.
What’s in the new Labelling norms?
The whole wheat bread must comprise at least 75 percent of whole wheat flour. Meanwhile, this limit for brown bread has been capped at 50 percent. Likewise, companies will also need to ensure that flour content in the multi-grain bread should comprise a certain amount of grains.
According to new Labelling norms, the amount of grain in the multi-grain bread should not be less than 10 percent in the 1st year of enforcement. However, this limit will get doubled, i.e., 20 percent for the subsequent years. As mentioned earlier, the enforcement of these norms will take place next year in May.
An Overview of FSSAI Labelling norms
As the name suggests, FSSAI Labelling norms are nothing but a set of regulations about labelling food articles. Labelling, as per FSSAI norms, is mandatory for food business operators in India. To get a better understanding of new Labelling norms, it’s vital to go through the FSSAI’s new Labelling norms. Here’s what the label of the food article should reflect as per the FSSAI’s norms:
1. The Product name and List of Ingredients
A label must explicitly reflect the product name. The font of the text must be legible and as per standard norms. The ingredient list is another element to be displayed on the label. The list should be legit and encompasses all the ingredients used to serve different purposes. Misleading consumers with a fake list is a punishable offence.
2. Nutritional Information
This is another mandatory inclusion to the food article label. Knowing what calories count a food item offers is important for the end-users. According to FSSAI norms, the food label must reflect the same in detail by covering the added nutrients such as carbs, protein, vitamins, etc. The inclusion of calories gained from Trans and Saturated fats is also vital.
3. Declaration Regarding Non-vegetarian or Vegetarian
Not all end-users are vegetarians. It‘s easy for them to fall for a product lacking a label that pretends to be vegetarian. Needless to say, consuming such food can disrupt their religious belief and sentiments. That is why FSSAI has mandated food makers to colour code that clarifies whether the given food item is vegetarian or not. As per the norms, the red colour code is used to signify that the given food item is non-vegetarian. Meanwhile, the green colour code implies that the given food article is a vegetarian product.
4. Declaration pertaining to Food Additives Used
Additives refer to substances added to a food article to improve its appearance or taste, or flavour. The producer must include the additive used, if any, on the Labelling for users’ reference.
5. Name and Complete Address of the Manufacturer
It is essential information that every FBO should mention in the food Labelling without fail.
6. Customer Care Details
The inclusion of customer care detail on the label is a mandatory requirement for every FBO.
The label must reflect the accurate net quantity of the food articles in standard units acceptable in the Indian marketplace.
8. Retail Sale Price
The maximum retail price should be clearly mentioned in the given food article.
9. FSSAI Logo and License Number
The licensed food makers are mandated to include the FSSAI logo and the license number without fail as per the prevailing Labelling norms.
10. Batch/Code/Lot Number/Manufacturing
Shelf life matters when it comes to food articles. Displaying batch or lot numbers on the food article is mandatory for all food business operators. This way, end-users can stay away from expired food items.
11. Manufacturing Date & the Best Before/Use-by Date
This is a vital Labelling detail for end-users. It helps them pick a legitimate product without worrying about its health repercussions.
12. User Instructions
User instructions play a vital role in ready-to-eat meals, and it helps users with food prep.
13. Country of Origin (For Imported Food)
As per the existing Labelling norms, including the country of origin of all foods intended to be shipped abroad is a mandatory requirement for all FBOs.
Bread is among the most consumable food items in India. Every day millions of bread packets are being sold nationwide. This could pose a serious health-related risk to the end-users if some negligence seeps in. FSSAI’s new Labelling norms will compel the breadmakers to strike the right balance between quality and quantity.
Read Our Article:Food Packaging and Labelling Regulations: The Complete Guide